Clean Air Council launches campaign asking, “Where is Gov. Wolf on climate change?”
Today, Clean Air Council on behalf of 7000 contributors and 35,000 activists across Pennsylvania launched a new campaign imploring Gov. Wolf to step up and start to lead by taking action on climate. The effort kicks off with digital ads on multiple news sites and an online grassroots petition.
Dangerous weather is brewing. The major uptick in extreme weather events is a clear sign that the climate is changing at a rapid pace. Recently, Americans experienced the bitter cold of the “bomb cyclone” in the East, a massive winter wildfire outside of Los Angeles, and unusually low western snowpack. Just last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2017 was the third hottest year on record (only slightly behind 2015 and 2016).
Now, the Trump Administration is aggressively rolling back vital protections to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and carbon emissions from the power sector – while beginning the process to undermine required emission reductions in the transportation sector as well.
The case for strong state action has never been clearer.
Without strong action from Gov. Tom Wolf, the massive amounts of climate-changing pollution, both methane and carbon dioxide, spewing from Pennsylvania’s vast energy infrastructure could go unchecked. Governors, mayors, and major corporations across the country are voicing their commitment to meet ambitious climate goals— yet the state of Pennsylvania, the 3rd largest greenhouse gas polluter in the nation with tens of thousands of active oil and gas wells and dozens of coal-fired power plants, is missing in action.
Thankfully, our local elected officials are stepping up to protect Pennsylvania communities. The mayors of Allentown, Ambler, Bethlehem, Downington, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College and Swarthmore have all pledged to work to secure the pollution reductions committed to under the Paris Climate Agreement.
And just today, Pennsylvania Sens. Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana from Pittsburgh stepped up with a bold vision for action, introducing legislation directing the state to take concrete actions to secure meaningful reductions in carbon pollution and to achieve ambitious economy-wide climate goals.
Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf has failed to lead on climate change. It is time to change that.
During his initial 2014 run for office, Gov. Wolf acknowledged that tackling methane emissions from oil and gas operations was critical to our environment. And just one year into his administration, he pledged to cut methane emissions from new and existing drilling operations across the state.
Fast forward to today, and we are still waiting for Gov. Wolf to introduce a proposal that would limit emissions from tens of thousands of oil and gas wells that operate today that put the health of our communities at risk. Not only is methane a powerful climate change pollutant, but these drilling operations release smog-forming pollutants that pollute the air we breathe. Cutting methane would address climate change and protect our health by helping to reduce the rate of asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Gov. Wolf also vowed to limit carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s power sector, clearly indicating on the campaign trail that he supported working with other states to clean up our air and secure our climate. Despite this promise, and in stark contrast to bold action taken in nearby Virginia to reduce carbon pollution from the state’s power plants, Gov. Wolf has again failed to lead.
With federal policies now in shambles, inaction is no longer an option for Pennsylvanians. By not acting, Governor Wolf is putting the health and welfare of Pennsylvania communities in the hands of Washington climate change denying bureaucrats and industry lobbyists – that is unacceptable.
That is why the Clean Air Council has launched a campaign calling on Gov. Wolf to lead and act on climate change.
Governor Wolf can and should fulfill two long overdue promises made to Pennsylvania voters during his last campaign by moving forward to:
- cut methane pollution from existing oil and gas operations; and
- set a hard limit on carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s power sector.
He had it right back in 2014—put Pennsylvania in the driver’s seat by moving ahead with ambitious policies to tackle two significant sources of climate pollution in the Commonwealth. Inaction is no longer an option.
Pennsylvanians deserve better—real leadership on a deeply urgent problem.
Want to help? Sign our petition telling Gov. Wolf to act now on climate change.